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Kensington

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The Price:
  • $30
The Pros:
  • Use left- or right-handed
  • Looks professional
  • Low price

The Cons:
  • Can't HotSync or recharge in case
  • Hard to find

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*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms



PDA Protector Review
By Ed Hardy
10/8/2001


The Kensington PDA Protector is an aluminum hardcase. There is a version for the Palm m500 series and V series, and another that fits most Visor models.

It offers a different design from most hard cases. Instead of opening to the left like a book, it opens upwards. This means it works as well for left-handed people as right-handed.

The top doesn't fold around all the way to the back. It does open more than 180 degrees, wide enough that you can lay the case completely flat on a table or desk.

The case itself is shaped to hold the handheld in. The back plate bends up to form the sides and even continues slightly onto the front, forming a sort-of cradle for the palmtop.

You put the handheld in by opening the case as wide as possible and sliding it in from the top, under the two side holders.

The entire interior of the PDA Protector is covered with some kind of artificial velvet-type stuff. This means you don't scratch up the finish on your handheld by rubbing metal against metal.

I was only able to test this with an m505 and it fit perfectly. I heard from someone who tried one of these with his m500 and thought it was too loose because that model is a bit thinner than the m505.

The top is held closed with a couple of small magnets. This seems quite secure and I prefer this to Velcro because magnets don't wear out.

The handheld is completely usable while still in its case. The cover, when flipped open, makes it a bit top heavy when held but I don't think that's a big deal. The stylus is easily accessible. The infrared port can still be used; the front cover even forms a nice resting place to put the second handheld. I found I needed to slide the handheld up a bit in the case to get at the SD slot.

However, because the serial port is blocked, you have to take the case out to put the handheld into its cradle. If you really want to you can avoid this by HotSyncing via infrared but there is no other alternative for charging the battery. Still, since taking the palmtop out of the case is so easy, it's not a big deal.

However, I am a bit concerned that sliding the handheld in and out of the case every day will eventually wear down the interior lining until the aluminum is rubbing on the handheld's body. This isn't even close to happening with my demo model but it is a possibility in the future.

The PDA Protector is a darn good-looking case. It looks very professional, closed or open. The m500/V series model comes in either Platinum or Blue Ice. Translated, that means dark gray or blue. The Visor version is Graphite, read black. These are just highlight colors, being used only on the back, sides, and the small part of the sides that extends onto the front. The front cover is light gray for all models.

It feels as good as it looks. The aluminium has been rubberized so it isn't too slick and feels very comfortable in the hand. The coating also means it won't slide off your desk as easily, too.

Like any case, the PDA Protector adds a slight bit of bulk to the handheld. It is 4.75 by 3.4 by .6 inches, while the m505 is 4.5 by 3.1 by .5 inches. I think this is close to being as small as a case can be and provide any kind of protection. It is roughly as thick as the m505 with the leather flip cover that comes with it. Naturally, the Visor version is larger.

This case seems reasonably rigid and I can see it protecting your palmtop if someone sat or even stepped on it. I have no idea if it would be enough to save your handheld if you dropped it down the stairs. If anyone would like to contribute a working m505 for this test, please let me know. I'm not going to try it with my own. At least not deliberately.

At this time, its not available anywhere online that I could find. Even Kensington doesn't have any in stock. They do list a group of webstores but I got exasperated with searching through all the sites before I found even one that was selling it online. So far, the only people I've heard of who have these have found them in electronics stores. If you want one, you'll probably have to call around in your area looking for it.

At $30, the PDA Protector is much less expensive than its rivals and its stylish exterior will appeal to almost everyone. No two ways about it, this is really an excellent case.

A Lost Cause
This case comes with a label from StuffBak, a service that tries to return lost items to their owners. You put a very small label on your handheld that gives it a unique ID number. You also need to register with StuffBak but that is free.

Also on the label is a phone number and website that the person who finds the item can use to get into contact with StuffBak. They then contact you and send you your property back.

It doesn't cost anything unless you actually get an item returned. StuffBak then charges you $15 plus shipping charges, if any.

I'm in favor of any service that can help people get their lost valuables returned, especially if it only costs anything if you actually use it.

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Ed Can you put a photo of a palm inside the case.

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 3:44:03 PM #
Als the second photo is too small and there is no bigger version when clickin.

Does this case has lifetime waranty?

RE: Ed Can you put a photo of a palm inside the case.
palmcoder @ 10/8/2001 3:47:58 PM #
RE: Ed Can you put a photo of a palm inside the case.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 3:56:39 PM #
Thanks.

Why is that link missing from the review???

RE: Ed Can you put a photo of a palm inside the case.
Ed @ 10/8/2001 3:59:40 PM #
The case does have a lifetime warranty.

Sorry, I can't take a picture of my m505 in the case because I'm taking the picture with a PalmPix and the m505. Kensington has this picture.:
http://www.buykensington.com/buykensington_assets/product_images/1829305.jpg

I didn't include a link to the larger version of the second picture because I think the picture is just awful. It actually looks better in the small version.

---
News Editor

How this case compares to Rhinoskin and Ibiz?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 3:49:01 PM #
How does this case compares to Rhinoskin and Ibiz?

I have heard lots of problems with the Rhinoskin including the razor sharp edges that can scratch the Palm. Also i heard that Rhinoskin's mounting system damages the stylus slot. And the Ibiz I have not hear a review.

Can someone compare these 3 cases. Thanks

RE: How this case compares to Rhinoskin and Ibiz?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 5:08:39 PM #
I own the Rhinoskin Slider, as well has hard case. I returned the latter because of the following reasons:

1. Sharp edges. The fit is not 100% perfect, and the m505 slips up and down the side rail a few millimeters. If you shut the case without looking, you could scratch the side of your palm.

2. Slide rail is metallic, and not a 100% match for the m505 or m500. It fits, as designed, down the side of the rail. But it does not click or hold the palm in place. If you open your palm, and tip the case, the palm will slide out before you know it.

3. The Rhinoskin hard case, when lined up next to the slider, is the same size (eyeball'ed.) It is still not the sleek small size that the original Palm hard case was for the V and Vx.

4. The Kensignton case is only $30. It is very snug, excellent quality, completely metal, the same dimentional size (eyeball'ed) as the Rhinoskin.

RE: How this case compares to Rhinoskin and Ibiz?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 6:08:51 PM #
Just to clarify...

So the Molded Rinoskin case that opens like a clam (not the slider) is the one you took back? But the kensington that is essentialy the same was OK and you kept it? (I might just get this reviewed case or the kensington then.)

I gave my rinoskin slider away, it was too big and too sharp edged for my needs.

I have a scribble pda case for my 505 and it is completely indestructable but there is a size penalty I am not 100% happy with.

Would you say that the kensington is comparable in size to the old plasti-aluminum thing that palm used to make for the Vx?

RE: How this case compares to Rhinoskin and Ibiz?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:16:30 PM #
I bought the case from Rhino Skin and I returned mine!
It was sharp on the edges, tinny in feel, (looked good)
and it is made for the Palm V or the M500 series so the size is not a glove fit.

I also tried the one from Franklin Covey, it's ok but a little too much plastic (not like the sleek one that Palm made at first). I have ordered the one from overseas and I hope I will like that one. I will try this one from Kensington too!

Greetings! morningstar1844@hotmail.com

RE: How this case compares to Rhinoskin and Ibiz?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 12:14:56 PM #
I have the Rhinoskin clam shell case for the m505 (opens to the side). I can hardly believe you could complain about a 505 sliding out! Just the opposite is true - if there is one problem with the Rhinoskin it is that the 505 fits too tight. It is difficult to get out at all - course you almost never need to because all aspects of the 505 are available while in the case.

I also owned a Rhinoskin case for a Vx. It was also extremely tight in the way the rail fit. So much so, that after a time, the Vx's rail would no longer securely hold the Vx supplied leather cover. I'm hoping the the m505's rails are stronger...


RE: How this case compares to Rhinoskin and Ibiz?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 8:32:21 PM #
I've had mine for two days and I love it. I've been looking for a hard case ever since the 505 came out and have been using the EB Slipper. All other hardcases I have tried are too big since I like to carry my Palm in my rear pocket. The Kensington works just fine. It is a bit of a hassle to keep taking it out for syncing and charging, but I got used to it. The article above is right, the felt lining is starting to wear a little as the two little nubs on the back of the palm keeps sliding on the felt when I take it in and out of the case. Otherwise, it is a great case and it looks cool.

Found Mine at Best Buy

madhatter @ 10/8/2001 4:23:29 PM #
In the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, you can find them at Best Buy. I have been using mine for the last couple of weeks and it works great. I would say the only small negative that I have found is that the velvet lining seems to be a dust magnet.

A Palm in hand is worth two in your pocket.
RE: Found Mine at Best Buy
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 1:31:14 AM #
What did you say?

A Palm in hand is worth two pocket pc's?

RE: Found Mine at Best Buy
madhatter @ 10/9/2001 10:10:48 AM #
"What did you say?
A Palm in hand is worth two pocket pc's?"

Well.. it would take at least two pocket pc's to do what I do on one Palm :)


A Palm in hand is worth two in your pocket.

Handera 330 Planning?

JET8810 @ 10/8/2001 4:28:07 PM #
Ed, do you know if they plan to make one for the Handera 330? thanks

RE: Handera 330 Planning?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 12:57:48 PM #
Try a Smartercase, they fit Handera 330s
www.smartercase.com

Too big for m500

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 5:50:20 PM #
Having briefly owned one of these cases, I would agree with your review, for the most part.
For the (?few) of us who own m500's, this case is ill-fitting. My palm literally could slide out of the case after a few days
of taking it out of the case to synch. Guess I'll keep looking. Sigh...

RE: Too big for m500
psf @ 10/8/2001 10:19:13 PM #
I posted a few days ago about my m500 slipping out of the Kensington case after a couple of days use. I thought about returning it, then decided to try to see if I could make it work, since I liked the case so much.

I picked up a pack of Velcro at a craft store, cut a 1/2" by 1 3/4" piece of the "loop" (cloth) side, and stuck it in the case - against the inside of one of the "wings". This tightnes the fit, and I can still get my m500 in and out ok. Only been a day so far, but working very well. The Velcro only cost me a couple of dollars...well, plus the stuff my wife picked up at the craft store where I got the velcro...so added to the $30 cost of the case, its still not a bad deal.

Does the top of the case stays attached...

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 6:01:45 PM #
Does the top of the case stays attached all the time? Or is it detachable. Also Are the edges shar or rounded?

Thanks.

RE: Does the top of the case stays attached...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 7:28:54 PM #
The flip top is not detachable and the edges are rounded and smooth; quite nicely finished.

Ed, how does it compare to...

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 6:28:35 PM #
How does this new kensington case compare to the one that palm used to make for the V series? And or, how does it compare to the two molded aluminum ones that have been reviewed here recently?

RE: Ed, how does it compare to...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 7:11:32 PM #
> how does it compare to the two molded aluminum ones that have been reviewed here recently?

I looked through their old reviews and couldn't find anything recent on molded aluminum cases. Which ones are you talking about?

I received mine today direct from Kensington

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 6:45:33 PM #
Mine arrived today. There were enough people that seemed to like this that I bought it without
being able to touch one. I ordered mine directly from Kensington on Oct 4 and now have it Oct 8 (I
picked Fed Express 2 day shipping).

I also ordered one of the first cases from Innopocket, but that has not arrived yet (ordered Sept 16).
I ordered the USB powered/syncing cable and it took a month so they take a bit long to get product
to you. I believe they are in Hong Kong.

When I get the Innopocket case I'll figure out which one of the 2 I like best for me.

RE: I received mine today direct from Kensington
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 10:12:36 AM #
Keep us posted! I am very very interested in someone doing a hands on, side by side comparison of these two cases, the molded aluminum innopocket and this molded kensington.

E-Mail me even! mobilemitch@yahoo.com

RE: I received mine today direct from Kensington
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/11/2001 11:42:15 AM #
I recieved my Innopocket molded aluminum over the weekend. I've been using it for less than a week, and already the paint is wearing off! I've been carrying it on and off in my pocket, with nothing scratching against it, but it's wearing off anyway.

I'm going to get a Kensington as soon as I can find one!

Jefe

RE: I received mine today direct from Kensington
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/19/2001 9:44:13 AM #
I wouldn't rush! I bought a Kensington and after a day of normal use, the rubber molding s wearing off the back (from puting it down on a desk), so now, the molding is very thin, and comes off at the first scuff.. I am going to return it...


Ed, you're a sick puppy...

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 8:08:47 PM #
"However, I am a bit concerned that sliding the handheld in and out every day will eventually wear down the interior lining until the aluminum is rubbing on the handheld's body."
--That sounds pornographic--
****ler waz here.


RE: Ed, you're a sick puppy...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 8:42:57 PM #
If that's all it takes to turn you on, I'd say the problem is yours.

i luv it

o @ 10/8/2001 8:28:13 PM #
looks cool

Aluminum cases with Belt Clip?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 8:30:43 PM #
I have been looking for aluminum cases that have the option for a belt clip... has anyone seen anything like this?

RE: Aluminum cases with Belt Clip?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 9:38:52 AM #
If ytou find one, let me know

ahpendo@home.com

Review of Rhino vs Kensington.

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:26:21 PM #
check out this thread at pdabuzz. alot of talk on case but there is a review on the rhino vs Kensington.Tritan is a moderator there and he pics for comparison if you email him.

RE: Review of Rhino vs Kensington.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 9:28:25 PM #
PDABuzz out of business?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 10:40:40 PM #

It looks like PDABuzz site is going out of business. The news are fewer and fewer, mostly copied from other sites and there is a lot of incorrect information.

RE: Review of Rhino vs Kensington.
bradleyboy @ 10/9/2001 7:46:35 AM #
Anonymous,

would you venture to be more specific on the incorrect information? I go to that site, and I would like to be sure that I have not been misled on something.

Peace,

bradleyboy

RE: Review of Rhino vs Kensington.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 9:21:58 PM #
I just got an email from a user about this hilarious thread (not the review, that's good, just this part) so I figured I'd drop by and say hi.

Funny how since I manage every aspect of the site and that any such information would come from me yet oddly enough I don't remember sending that memo or receiving that memo.

I guess this means we're big time since people are taking the time (and wasting the space) to make up garbage about us. I guess f---edcompany.com is next for us, whoo hoo!!

Wes Salmon
PDABuzz.com

RE: Review of Rhino vs Kensington.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/9/2001 11:15:10 PM #
> It looks like PDABuzz site is going out of business.
> The news are fewer and fewer, mostly copied from other
> sites and there is a lot of incorrect information.

Don't you mean PalmStation? PDABuzz seems to be alive and well while PalmStation gets updated less and less.

RE: Review of Rhino vs Kensington.
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/10/2001 7:11:46 AM #
PDABuzz, in my opinion, has been one of the most consistently dependable sources of information throughout the time that I have been visiting it (about a year now).

- Amin

RE: Review of Rhino vs Kensington.
bradleyboy @ 10/10/2001 8:57:11 AM #
I suppose that I will take Anonymous' failure to respond to my request that he/she substantiate his/her statements about PDABuzz as confirmation of what most of us already know: that PDABuzz is a quality site. Thanks to Wes at PDABuzz and Ed at Palminfocenter for doing such a good job keeping we PDA junkies informed, interested, and entertained. As for you, Anonymous, maybe next time you will consider not tossing off misinformed and inaccurate statements. All of us have a duty to the truth.

Peace,

bradleyboy

My Perfect case

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 10:31:39 PM #
I carry my m505 in my pocket 85% of the time but occasionally I'll toss it in my gym bag or in a pack when riding a bike. I wish there was a hard case for the 505 that allows the leather cover it comes with to be left ON. The best thing that I have found was at Best Buy, made by Case Logic and it's a neoprene zipper case for a MP3 / Minidisc player. Not perfect protection from crushing but better than nothing and it was only $10!

RE: My Perfect case
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/8/2001 10:57:12 PM #
BTW: I'd still like to be able to use the 505 while it's in my ideal case :)
Here's a link to the Neoprene thing I'm using now:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?L2A51531

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